English Speech C/w Signs

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Signs. English Coursework.

Madam chairman, Mister chairman, honoured guests, ladies and gentlemen.

Aries- Even though you fancy yourself pretty handy with the power tools, be warned, today is not the day to try to save on your dental bills by filling your own cavities! How often do we obsessively rummage through the leaves of a trashy magazine or tabloid newspaper only to be greeted by the predictions of an under paid writer aiming their poor humour at you and the other 500,000,000 Arians on the planet? What is our obsession with signs and the bearing they have on our lives? Well, the fact is that signs are everywhere, they warn us of dangers, tell us where to go, often what to do, and we even judge people by the signs they convey to us about their personality.

Many signs in our lives are designed to make things that little bit easier, I mean, imagine life without road signs. I'm sure all us females will agree that being tarnished with the stereotypical view that all women are useless at reading maps is bad enough, but take a moment, engage your minds and think. It's a dark, dreary and generally dismal Saturday afternoon. You are cruising down the M5 desperately searching for the exit to Birmingham, that is, if you ever made it onto the M5 in the first place with no signs to guide you to the slip road. Imagine the impossibility of it all, trying to discover which exit was the correct exit without signs, undoubtedly and obliviously screeching straight past it, only to travel another 100 miles in the wrong direction.

Despite the possible tragedies that could have occurred then and now without the presence of signs, inevitably, there are occasions where life would be much easier, and cheaper without them. Hasn't it ever baffled you that people spend ludicrous amounts of money on an item of clothing which would have cost a fraction of the price had it not had one centimetre squared "˜Tommy Hilfiger' or "˜Ralph Lauren' logo stitched on the inside of the garment? Why is it that people are prepared to spend their well earned money burning a substantially large hole in their pockets all for a named brand? The reason is status. As our ever commercialised world and materialistic lives spin endlessly round day after day, status is power, and for some unidentifiable reason, people feel more confident sporting expensive possessions, ludicrous luxuries and name brand clobber. It's a fact. Your possessions are a sign; of who you are, what you stand for and what you are like.

Talking of ludicrous luxuries brings me to thinking about love, "˜When a man loves a woman' and all that. Well, when a man loves a woman"¦ he is obliged to spend a small fortune on her as a sign of his undying love. Which leads neatly and tidily onto engagement rings. A token of love, and a sign of never ending commitment. However, engagement rings have also become status symbols in their own right. For the lucky lady, it's a case of, "˜I'm happy, my fiancée is loaded and you can look, you can try, but you can't touch!' In the case of the man it's, "˜I'm now skint, I'm generous, and you can't look, you can't try and she's mine!' In some circumstances however, one does not have to fork out in order to give someone a sign of what they think and how they feel. Body language can reveal a lot about a person, regardless of whether they want it too or not. How many of us have ever given a rhubarb a run for it's money when excessively blushing because we've walked out of the toilet with our flies undone or our skirt stuffed in our knickers? I can guarantee that every one of you has felt the heat singe under the skin of your cheeks as the sign of your embarrassment has flushed out of your face to greet the hoards of onlookers.

I'm sure that embarrassment is not the only occasion when your body has given you a stark reminder or warning about how it feels or that something is wrong; the dreaded chicken pox being a prime and unfortunately, very visible sign that your body has acquired some horrible infestation intent on using your body as it's hideout. And what about adolescence? Although most of you will have burned and destroyed all evidence of your beloved school days, and attempted to permanently eradicate all thoughts of your acne ridden friends and spot covered self from your mind, the scars in your memory are as much a reminder to you of your youth as the scars were on your face for years after. After all, your dreaded pimples were merely a sign that you a hormone driven youngster, were growing up.

Life in general is filled with unwanted signs, not only in the tender teenage years. What's the saying, "˜Life begins at forty?' Well, I suppose an element of that statement is true; things do begin at forty, heading south, creasing up and falling out! All of these are physical signs that show that your body is getting on, and yet again, business tycoons are calculating to squeeze every penny out of you, promising fewer lines, firmer skin and thicker locks.

Whether you're eight, eighteen or eighty, signs are fundamental to our way of life, some are clear cut and some are left to interpretation. Signs are very personalised and can mean whatever you want them to mean. They are anything and everything. Maybe this speech is a sign, for you to acknowledge the signs in your life; you'd be surprised as to how much of an effect they have.

Madam chairman, Mister chairman, honoured guests, ladies and gentlemen, will you please be upstanding and join me in a toast to signs.